Rural landscapes in the Summer

One of my favourite photographic subjects are rural fields with hay bales. At the end of Spring, farmers start to harvest cereals and hay, the latter to store as cattle feed for the following months. This is a centuries old seasonal activity, still important for the economy of several parts of the country. In previous visits to Longueira, I noticed that some fields already had the typical bales. Every year I go to familiar locations to photograph the bales, so avoiding repetition in the resulting photos can be a challenge.

The photos I am showing here were made last week, in a small field near Longueira. The weather had been quite variable, thanks to the presence of Saharan dust brought in by the wind. This made for unique weather and light conditions. For example, for a few days, the Sun was pale and obscured; the presence of high levels of dust in the atmosphere also created rain showers and thunderstorms.

Dusty sunset near Longueira.
Dusty sunrise in Longueira.

The dust gradually cleared out after a couple of days, and I decided to go out one morning to photograph a nearby field. In the Summer, this entails waking up very early, well before 6 am, but at least the location was only a couple of km away. I grabbed my tripod, plus two of my Fuji cameras and lenses. I had my Fujinon 14mm wide angle lens, and the Fujinon 35mm standard lens. Before sunrise, the sky was covered with stormy clouds, but I started to make a few test shots, using the bales as the main foreground subject. I was walking around between the ends of the field, making photos towards the East and the West; it is important to look in all directions, as the light can change rather quickly.

Bales and clouds.

For a brief period, there was a break in the dark sky, and light illuminated the landscape in a golden glow. This period only lasted for a few minutes, so I had to photograph quickly.

A break in the clouds.
A touch of light.
Golden colours.
…and West.

After that, the clouds covered the Sun again, but there was still an opportunity to photograph the filtered rays, an effect that can add a bit of drama to the photos.

Dark and light.
Light from above.

I am happy with the photos I got, thanks to the interesting weather and light, which conveyed a different mood to a familiar and common subject.

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I was born in Lisbon in 1966, and I am a geologist. My main interests as a photographer are Landscapes, Travel, and People. I have been fortunate enough to work in different places and contacted diverse cultures. I am also fortunate to live in a small, but beautiful country, Portugal.